Thursday, January 27, 2011

Local agencies tackle issues with ‘hoarding’


The Cape is not immune to the health issue dubbed "hoarding."

Lee County Animal Services responded to a home in the city late last year that had more than 70 cats and three adults living in conditions officials describe as near squalor: Unsanitary conditions throughout the house and cats in various states of physical duress.

Officials say hoarding conditions were so bad that firefighters were hampered fighting a fire at the residence a little over a month later.

Lee County Animal Service's Chief Officer Adam Leath is trying to find ways to fight hoarding, which has come into the national spotlight recently due to reality shows on satellite and cable.

Leath formed a task force for that very purpose, and its second meeting on Wednesday in Fort Myers was filled with what Leath described as "good dialogue" among the various agencies that attended the meeting.

Mental health services, law enforcement, code enforcement, private business and non-profit groups all have to find a way to work together, Leath said, not only for crisis prevention, but to provide help in the long run..." More

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